Individualized Care


President Obama’s new initiative is called “precision medicine” and it is being made to feel like it is individualized care.  But is it?

Obama is asking for $215 million “for what he calls a precision medicine initiative that moves away from one-size-fits-all treatments” in an effort to obtain what the AP characterizes as an “ambitious goal” of scientists “assembl[ing] databases of about a million volunteers to study their genetics – and other factors such as their environments and the microbes that live in their bodies – to learn how to individualize care.”

I am very intrigued about microbes.  I recently heard a nice podcast on the Tim Ferris show about the microbiome.  Cool stuff. That being said, let’s not mix up industrialized medicine with personal or authentic medicine.   This seems to be another attempt to break down populations and people into numbers or microbes, or genes, etc.  Obama claims this moves away from the one-size-fits-all approach but isn’t it really the same thing?   Once again we are treating people according to only their lab sheets and not really as individuals.  This may make it easier for non-doctors to treat patients but that is not what medicine should be about.

If I am missing something about this then please set me straight.


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